One popular solution for those who want to get in on the home theater craze with a minimum of hassle and cost is with a home theater-in-a-box system. Basically, such systems provide the consumer with everything they need to setup a basic home theater audio/video system, except for the television or video monitor. One of the latest entries in this exciting product category is the Yamaha DVX-S60.
The DVX-S60 is anchored by a DVD/AV receiver combo unit. The DVD/CD player section is progressive scan capable and features component, S-video, and standard AV outputs. The receiver/amplifier section contains a a fully functional 5.1 channel receiver combination with Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby 3, Theater and Hall surround modes. The power output of the amplifier section is 35 WPCx5. The receiver also features an AM/FM tuner with 30 channel presets. The receiver also has additional audio/video inputs for connection of VCR and one other component as well as a front headphone jack for private listening. To round out the DVX-S60 package, there is a 40-Watt powered subwoofer with QD-Bass technology (downward firing setup utilizing a pyramid-shaped plate to disperse low frequencies in all directions), as well as five satellite speakers for the main, surround, and center channels. Finally, the whole system can be controlled with the provided wireless remote control.
Setup and Testing
For set up, all the connections and cables are provided to get this system running. The provided cables and onboard connectors are color coded making setup easy. Without cracking open the owner's manual, I was watching a DVD in surround sound in about 15 minutes from the time I opened the box. However, if you do need use the owner's manual, it is very easy for the novice to understand, with great illustrations on now to hookup your system. Lastly, the provided remote control made navigating through the various functions very easy.
I found that the DVD player not only plays DVD-video format discs flawlessly, but CDs, CDRs, CDRWs, as well as DTS music discs, plus homemade DVD-Rs, DVD+Rs, and DVD+RWs. On the video side of things, the images reproduced by the DVD player were excellent no matter what type of output was used (obviously, the component outputs produced the best images). The DVX-S60 was tested with various screen sizes, from a 20-inch direct view image to a 7-foot diagonal projected image. Colors and detail were consistent and there were no noticable motion artifacts.
On the audio side of things, the surround stage in both the Dolby Digital and DTS modes were excellent for such a modest system. Sound direction was accurate and the sound stage was very 3-dimensional. In addition, the surround stage on multi-channel music material, such as DTS-music discs and DVD-Audio discs with a DTS or Dolby Digital layer was very good also. In terms of bass response, the subwoofer performed quite well for its compact size. However, the highs are a little harsh on both movie/music sources.
It must be noted that the DVX-S60 does not have SACD or DVD-Audio playback capability, nor is it equipped with Prologic II or DTS Neo:6. However, the provided surround mode and music mode selections still make the DVX-S60 a very flexible unit. On the other hand the provided speaker wire is somewhat flimsy, and its modest power output may not be sufficient for a larger room.
From the stylish design, to its ease of setup, excellent DVD player video performance, and great surround sound staging, the DVX-S60 is a great performer it its price range of less than $500. The fact that the reproduction of high frequencies are a little harsh has more to do with comparing the audio reproduced with the DVX-S60 in comparison to higher-end systems and components than with comparisons with systems in its own price class. The same goes with the modest power output of the system. This is definitely a system geared towards entry-level users and users in smaller listening environments, such as an apartment or small house. With these perspectives in mind, I heartily recommend the DVX-S60 as being worthy of your consideration when shopping for a home theater-in-a-box system.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy